A few months ago, I had to renew my British passport and, as I live in Bangkok, Thailand, that meant dealing with the British Consulate in Hong Kong, China. A new passport requirement (up until last year, British citizens could renew passports at the British Embassy in Bangkok), I must admit I was a little apprehensive about having to mail my passport to Hong Kong to get it renewed. Happily, I shouldn’t have been.
Here’s how to do it.
The Renewal Application Process Is Easy – I was traveling to England later in the month so needed to have a valid British passport. As my travel date was the last week in January and I had heard horror stories about the British Consulate in Hong Kong taking far longer than the supposed four weeks, I mailed my passport to them on December 7th to allow plenty of time.
The renewal process for a British passport is easy. It requires nothing more than completing a four page application form, which took me five minutes, submitting a signed credit card form if you wish to pay for the service by credit card, and two recent photos.
I mailed my British passport renewal application to Hong Kong via registered mail. From completing the form, to putting it in an envelope, walking to the post office and mailing it, took less than 45 minutes. Easy enough.
The Waiting – Seventeen days after I mailed my renewal application, on Christmas Eve to be precise, I received an email from a polite gentleman at the Hong Kong Consulate General saying, unfortunately, they couldn’t accept my photographs as they were, as I was smiling. Therefore, could I please send new photos directly to him and he would process them immediately.
Entirely my fault, as I had ot read the photograph requirements correctly, I was now worried about getting the photos to Hong Kong in time with the Christmas and New Year holidays. But, I had new photos taken on December 29th and mailed them to Hong Kong. Again by registered mail.
Receiving A New British Passport From The Hong Kong Consulate General – Imagine my surprise then on January 7th, when my new British passport arrived at my apartment safely delivered by DHL.
In fact, from mailing the new photos to Hong Kong to receiving my passport in Bangkok took nine days, and that was including the New Year’s holidays, which are usually four days in Asia.
To say I was impressed with the British Consulate General in Hong Kong is an understatement. The British Embassy in Bangkok has a somewhat bad reputation with many of the expats living in Thailand as it is often a nightmare getting anything done there. So, when we discovered passports now had to be processed in Hong Kong, many of us were even more worried.
But, getting my British passport renewed at the British Consulate General in Hong Kong could not have been easier. If I have any more business to do with them, while I’m living in Asia, I won’t think twice about doing it.
They are thoroughly professional, reliable and fast, and provide an excellent service indeed.